Prime Minister Rishi Sunak grants Home Secretary power to disregard Strasbourg injunctions
Home Secretary Suella Braverman may soon have the power to disregard injunctions from the Strasbourg court, as UK officials plan to strengthen the Illegal Migration Bill. European judges are preparing to push back against the UK’s intentions to ignore injunctions blocking the removal of migrants.
A deal between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and a group of Tory rebels aims to amend the Illegal Migration Bill, allowing ministers to disregard Rule 39 orders from the European Court of Human Rights in certain cases. The “pyjama injunctions” used by European judges have previously grounded flights deporting migrants.
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Senior Strasbourg sources cited by The Telegraph warn that these plans could undermine individuals’ rights and freedoms under the European Convention on Human Rights. A European court source emphasised the importance of interim measures, such as Rule 39, in ensuring the effectiveness of the convention rights.
Sunak hopes to quell a backbench rebellion, with additional amendments potentially requiring British judges to determine if a deportation would cause “serious and irreversible harm” before blocking it. However, former Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas cautions that such proposals could face defeat in the Lords, expressing concern over the government potentially ignoring court orders and breaching the rule of law.
The Illegal Migration Bill remains controversial, with critics arguing that it places the UK in violation of its international obligations, while others call for stronger border controls or the establishment of safe routes for asylum seekers. The UK government seeks to change the law to prevent people arriving illegally from remaining in the country, either deporting them to their home country or to nations like Rwanda. Despite legal challenges, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made curbing Channel crossings one of his top priorities, with over 5,000 migrants arriving in the UK so far this year.
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